Polish director Krzysztof Kieslowski and German director Tom Tykwer are two of the most important European filmmakers of the past 25 years. While not all of their films have been unanimously embraced by critics, there is a spiritual element to their films that makes them fascinating for those interested in the relation between film and theology.

Kieslowski (died in 1996) is well-known for his Decalogue series and for his films about ordinary people wondering who God is and where we find God in our lives. Tykwer’s films (like Kieslowski’s) deal with chance and coincidence, fate and destiny, and the search for spiritual meaning. Some say Kieslowski and Tykwer (whose film Heaven was written by Kieslowski) treat these elements differently; that Kieslowski encourages us to accept and embrace our destiny while Tykwer urges us to fight against and transcend it. How true is this? We will discuss such questions as we explore the works of these influential filmmakers.

Gareth Higgins wil co-lead this seminar with Vic Theissen. It is aimed at those who want to talk about film, not just listen to lectures. So lecture input will be limited to 90 minutes to allow plenty of time for discussion.

Gareth Higgins is a writer, broadcaster, and peace activist in Belfast and co-founder of the zero28 Project, a post-sectarian peacebuilding initiative. He has authored How Movies Helped Save My Soul: Finding Spiritual Footprints in Culturally Relevant Films and the forthcoming 'How Not to be a Man: A Northern Irish Guy’s Search for Meaning, Friendship and a Weight Loss Plan that Really Works'.

Vic Thiessen is the director of the London Mennonite Centre. A lifelong film buff and film critic, Vic leads occasional film nights at the Guy Chester Centre and, for seven years, has hosted a weekly movie night where watching a film is followed by an hour’s discussion.

Cost: £20 (£10 unwaged) includes lunch
Venue: London Mennonite Centre